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The important questions in life! Scientists find a winning strategy for rock-paper-scissors

Rock, paper, scissors
© Dan Sumption
Scissors cuts paper.
A group of researchers from Chinese universities have written a paper about the role of psychology in winning (or losing) at rock-paper-scissors. After studying how players change or keep their strategies during multiple-round sessions, they figured out a basic rule that people tend to play by that could potentially be exploited.

The researchers took 360 students, broke them into groups of six, and had them play 300 rounds of rock-paper-scissors in random pairings. The students received small amounts of money each time they won a round. As they played, the researchers observed how the players rotated through the three play options as they won or lost.

What they found was that "if a player wins over her opponent in one play, her probability of repeating the same action in the next play is considerably higher than her probabilities of shifting actions." If a player has lost two or more times, she is likely to shift her play, and more likely to shift to the play that will beat the one that has just beaten her than the same one her opponent just used to beat her. For instance, if Megan loses by playing scissors to Casey's rock, Megan is most likely to switch to paper, which would beat Casey's rock. Per the research, this is a sound strategy, since Casey is likely to keep playing the hand that has been winning. The authors refer to this as the "win-stay, lose-shift" strategy.
Gingerbread

The Irony! Over 100 sick after attending food safety conference

Health officials are investigating what may have sickened over 100 people who attended a conference where more than 1,300 food safety experts had gathered.

No one at the Food Safety Summit held April 8-10 in Baltimore was hospitalized, according to health officials, and most people reported cases of diarrhea.

Alvina K. Chu, who is leading the Maryland Department of Health's investigation, said Tuesday that officials haven't yet determined what caused people to get sick. It's not yet clear if the illness was transmitted by food or from person to person, she said.
Wolf

You want it? You got it. Prosecutors demanded statement from this officer, so he gave them one

Although arrests and trials often get the majority of the headlines, a lot of work is done in between those two things. Because it is usually pretty tedious and paperwork-related, it often flies under the radar.

Recently, a prosecutor's office working on a particular incident realized that they needed a statement from Officer PC Peach. They repeatedly requested the necessary paperwork, only to get ignored each time.

Finally, after repeated attempts and people on both sides getting frustrated, they got their statement:
police dog statement
Yup, you guessed it - Officer PC Peach is a dog. His department kept insisting that Officer PC Peach could not provide a statement, and the prosecutor's office kept requesting one anyway.

Are you ready for the really silly part? According to Metro, investigators are now looking into the incident because a false report was filed. Yikes.
Crusader

"Jesus not coming back by the looks of it" admits Vatican

Jesus Not Coming Back!
© Waterford Whisper News

A spokesperson for the Vatican has officially announced today that the second coming of Jesus, the only son of the God, may not happen now after all, but urged followers to still continue with their faith, regardless of the news.

Cardinal Giorgio Salvadore told WWN that this years 1,981st anniversary is to be the Vatican's last in regards to waiting for the Lord to return to Earth.

"We just feel Jesus is not coming back by the looks of it." he said. "It's been ages like. He's probably flat out doing other really good things for people somewhere else."

Nearly two thousand years ago, Jesus promised his disciples that he would come again in chapter John 14:1-3 of the bible: "There are many homes up where my Father lives, and I am going to prepare them for your coming. When everything is ready, then I will come and get you, so that you can always be with Me where I am. If this weren't so, I would tell you plainly"

The Vatican defended Jesus' broken promise, claiming "he was probably drinking wine" at the time when he made the comments.

"Having the ability to turn water into wine had its ups and its downs." added Cardinal Salvadore. "We all make promises we can't keep when we're drunk. Jesus was no different."

The church said it will now focus attentions on rebuilding its reputation around the world, but will keep an optimistic mind for the savior's second coming.
Wolf

Dog missing since 2007 San Diego wildfires reunited with family

dog lost and found
© Unknown
A dog who disappeared more than six years ago during 2007 firestorm that devastated San Diego has finally been reunited with his family.

John Hartman and his family not only lost their home during the fires, they also lost their dog, Buddy.

Nearly seven years after he went missing, a microchip implanted in Buddy helped authorities reunite him with his family, San Diego County Department of Animal Services officials said Tuesday.
Bullseye

David Cameron stung by jellyfish in Lanzarote - no news on whether or not jellyfish survived encounter

© Georgios Kefalas/EPA
Common jellyfish. The prime minister was stung by a jellyfish off Arrieta beach in Lanzarote.
PM's encounter with sea creature while on holiday in Lanzarote is not the first time that a jellyfish has caused him pain

David Cameron is known for floating serenely above the political fray, suffering very little damage to his own reputation even as his government is forced into U-turns or his ministers are forced to resign.

But on holiday in Lanzarote this week the prime minister's luck ran out. Bobbing gently in the Spanish waters, Cameron suddenly received a painful sting from a jellyfish.

It seems that the PM was warned that "there's loads of jellies down there" as he approached the sea at Arrieta beach, and prudently removed his children from the ocean.

But he waded in himself, subsequently emerging "shouting in pain", one local told the Daily Mirror.

Another tourist recorded his exact quote: "Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!"

Downing Street said the sting was minor and did not require treatment.
Ambulance

Miraculous - man drives car off 80ft cliff in UK and survives

car cliff uk
© Unknown
The arrows show where the car veered off the cliff and landed.
A man who drove his car off an 80ft cliff near Brighton has walked away without any significant injuries.

The driver lost control of his vehicle on the A259 just after midnight on Sunday morning.

He survived the drop because the car "miraculously" managed to clear the promenade beneath the cliff and land on water.
Snowflake

The U.S. can keep it! Putin responds to question about Russia invading Alaska

Would Vladimir Putin invade Alaska? That's what one questioner asked the Russian president during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow.

"What would you need Alaska for?" Putin responded via a translator, reminding the audience that Alaska was sold to the United States in the 19th century for a relatively small amount of money.

Putin suggested that there would be no interest in acquiring more northern territory.

"We are a northern country, 70 percent of our territory is in the north and the high north. Alaska, is it in the south? It's quite cold up there, let's not be overenthusiastic about it," Putin said.

Putin added that he did not want to have to pay Russian citizens to live in the state.

Watch the video here:

Airplane

U.S. flight attendant entertains passengers with comedy safety routine


Flight attendant Marty Cobb found a novel way to ensure that passengers listened to safety regulations by turning her presentation into a comedy monologue.

On a recent Southwest Airlines flight to Salt Lake City, Ms Cobb grabbed her captive audience's attention with the following introduction: "If I can pretend to have your attention for just a few moments, my ex-husband, my new boyfriend and their divorce attorney are going to show you the safety features aboard this 737 800 series."

She then instructed passengers to "position your seat belt tight and low across your hips, like my grandmother wears her support bra," before informing them that "in the unlikey event the pilot lands beside a hot tub" each passenger would get their own "teeny-weeny yellow Southwest bikini" as her colleagues held up yellow life jackets.

"One size fits all. To activate the flow of oxygen, simply insert 75 cents for the first minute. If you're travelling with more than one child, pick out the one that might have the most earning potential down the road," she quipped.

"Basically just do what we say and nobody gets hurt," she concludes in the three-minute briefing, which was uploaded to YouTube at the weekend.
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